On the left a healthy adult human brain viewed from above, MRI. Wellcome Collection. (“Virtual anatomical dissection of a healthy adult human brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this bird’s eye (superior) view, the front of the brain is facing the top of the image and the back of the brain is at the bottom. This image shows a brain slice from a structural MRI scan of a healthy living subject. It has been processed using advanced 3D rendering techniques to mimic the appearance of the brain as it may look after a real post-mortem dissection. Image is false-coloured (orange). Everyday thousands of similar brain scans are collected by clinicians and neuroscientists around the world to study and explore how the living human brain works and to investigate how it changes during normal development or disease.” https://wellcomecollection.org/works/qvje92k6?page=5&query=ct%20scan)
“Although a number of visualizing techniques have their roots in eighteenth century and nineteenth century optics or mechanics, the discovery of X-rays ushered in the era of modern imaging technologies. Since then, we have witnessed the introduction of numerous other techniques. Ultrasound, a visual diagnostic practice based on the physics of sound, has gradually become a routine screening instrument for fetuses. The endoscope, featuring a mini-camera attached to a flexible cable, is inserted into the body via a tube and sends video signals to a monitor in the operating theater. Computed Tomography (CT) utilizes X-rays to produce ultra-thin cross sections of the body; a large number of digital cross sections can be recombined to form three-dimensional representations – for instance of organs. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) produces similar slices, but uses magnetic fields, rather than X-rays, to penetrate even bone material. Positron emission photography (PET) is based on the use of radioactive isotropes, which, when injected into the patient, allow the researcher to study brain functions in vivo. The electron microscope (EM) gives visual access to the tiniest organic unit, such as molecules, which can be magnified up to half a million times.” (José van Dijck, The Transparent Body: A Cultural Analysis of Medical Imaging. 2005. Seattle: University of Washington Press. p.6). In the production we project an animated MRI of my own womb, for, coincidentally, I was undergoing some tests during the research for the text. I am not sure that, had I not gone through IVF, that I would have felt comfortable with sharing this most intimate part of my body with an audience. However, the MRI image itself abstracts the organic detail so that a layperson cannot easily decipher it.